Photo Series: Local family protests against COVID-19 restrictions

Sam Stroozas, Executive Editor

A local La Crosse family that chose to remain nameless decided to protest against COVID-19 restrictions in La Crosse County in front of Cosmopolitan Salon and Spa during the late afternoon of Wednesday, April 22.

The Racquet Press interviewed two family members: the father and the eldest son. They shared their concerns about COVID-19 restrictions and their feelings about wearing masks and social distancing. All family members were wearing hand-made masks, but The Racquet Press was told this was done to “exaggerate” the current state of the country.

The eldest son said that the main reason that he was protesting was that he wants to reopen the city.

“We are letting the community and city government know that we want to reopen the city and we want to encourage folks who feel the same to know they are not alone. Gov. Evers has violated one of our core human rights, the ability to move freely and gather and assemble, which is a constitutional right. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. When do you draw the line and say these are our rights?” he said.

He also discussed that the sort of restrictions in place are ones that our founding fathers “could only dream of” and “the kind of power and control to make people stay home.”

He said he does not want anyone to get COVID-19, nor does he want to get it himself, but that “we do not have to be suffering” as a country during this time. “This all isn’t worth it,” he said.

The son and father both mentioned the selective quarantine happening in Sweden and wished that the United States would adopt a similar policy.

The father shared his perspective as the primary caregiver of his family: “From a man’s perspective, as the one who earns the pay, it is about safety and security and me being able to produce and work. I know that there is a level of risk involved but I have to weigh all of that. I would prefer not to be out here but I felt like I had to do something.”

He also said that he believes La Crosse County is a low-risk area, stating that we have not had any deaths and only 26 cases. The La Crosse County health department has been sharing the daily case numbers with the public through social media but has also emphasized that there is confirmed community spread of COVID-19 in La Crosse County and that the confirmed number of cases only tell “part of the story.”

As mentioned, all family members were wearing masks. The Racquet Press and a WKBT reporter were also wearing masks and practicing social distancing while interviewing subjects. The father shared that he is “totally okay” with people wearing masks, but that “it should be my choice whether or not I choose to wear one.”

He said that he feels like his human rights have been violated and no one should be “forced” to stay home.

As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 there have been 49,502 negative test results in the state of Wisconsin, 4,845 positive test results, 1,302 hospitalizations, and 246 deaths. The current daily testing capacity is 7,837 tests and there are 48 labs in the state performing tests.